I spotted this recipe in the November edition of the excellent Suffolk Magazine (which had a feature on me!)
It’s by Mena Boughey – who runs cooking classes in Lavenham (Suffolk) and runs a catering company–lucky Lavenham!
She emphasizes the importance of introducing spices in small batches–giving each spice time to settle in and release its aroma.
Taking time under the big Suffolk skies–the zen of curry!
She includes a tablespoon of fenugreek–a regular spice in the Indian kitchen with links, as the name implies, to the Mediterranean and like many spices, claims interesting health benefits (good for digestion, good for diabetes).
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp–ground fenugreek
1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
1 medium onion–sliced
1 garlic clove–mashed with a little salt
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp chili or cayenne powder–less or more according to taste
3 to 4 tinned [canned] tomatoes with their juice–chopped
1 tsp turmeric
300 gms chicken breast (about 2 medium breasts)–excess fat removed and sliced into medium sized pieces
2 medium fennel bulbs–outer leaves removed and cut into medium size pieces (I’ve substituted fennel for the potato in Mena’s recipe.)
2 tsp garam masala
2 or 3 tbsp yogurt–whisked smooth
salt and pepper
for 2/3 (add an additional breast to serve four)
Heat the oil in a medium pan and add the fenugreek, cumin and coriander.
Cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat until they release their aroma.
Add the onion and turn it over in the spices and continue to cook until it starts to soften.
Add the cayenne/chili and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook on for 5 minutes–being careful not to let the spices burn.
Add the tomatoes to the mix and let them meld in and the liquid reduce–about five minutes.
Add the turmeric and stir it in.
Add the chicken and fennel pieces and enough hot water to cover them.
Bring slowly to the boil then turn the heat down low.
Cook at a light bubble until the chicken is cooked through and the fennel is tender.
Turn off the heat and leave the flavors to take meld.
Before reheating it fold in the yogurt.
Meredith went to the larder in search of chutney the first time I made this.
So I made a quick sauce with yogurt and cumin.